The Anti-Corruption Bureau court on Friday postponed till June 22 the hearing on the bail plea of TDP leader Atchannaidu who was arrested in the alleged ESI scam.

A group of lawyers moved the bail petition stating that Atchannaidu, former labour minister in Chandrababu Naidu’s Cabinet, was ailing and the allegations against him had no valid ground.

The lawyers representing Atchannaidu informed the court that the arrested leader was undergoing treatment and his condition was yet to stablise. They contended that Atchannaidu needed medical attention as he had to undergo a second surgery. Further, they argued Atchannaidu was booked under the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018 as part of ‘vengeful politics’. The bail application was filed under the Section 437 and 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

In an early morning swoop, Atchannaidu was arrested on June 12 from his residence in Tekkali in Srikakulam district. Around 300 police personnel circled Atchannaidu’s residence, some of them even scaled the compound wall, barged in and arrested. The TDP leader at the time of arrest had undergone piles surgery. Despite the surgery, the TDP leader was made to travel more than 500 kms from his home town to Guntur and forced to sit in a car for over 15 hours. Atchannaidu had to endure the ordeal throughout the journey. He was later admitted to Guntur General Hospital. The doctors had to perform a second surgery as the bleeding did not stop. TDP president and former CM N Chandrababu Naidu termed the arrest as kidnap and slammed the Jagan government for targettng TDP leaders in an act of political vendetta. Naidu held the state government responsible for the worsening of Atchnnaidu’s health condition. On Thursday, he met Governor Bishwabhushan Harichandan to apprise him of the government’s excesses and increasing violation of human rights in Andhra Pradesh. “Leaders who are not yielding to the YSRCP’s arm-twisting tactics are being arrested and false cases were being foisted. Atchnnaidu was arrested because he was vocal about the government’s ommissions and commissions,” Naidu told the Governor and submitted a 14-page letter.

Atchannaidu was arrested in the ESI scam that relates to the purchase of drugs, medicines, medical kits and furniture. The Vigilance and Enforcement directorate found irregularities in the procurement of drugs, medicines and medical kits. However, Vigilance and Enforcement directorate in its report named three directors of IMS, but Atchnnaidu’s name was not mentioned in the report. The state government later order a CID probe

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